The 5 Most Absurd Uses of Product Placement Ever

Television shows cost money, and if the networks aren't being generous enough with theirs, producers need to sell out a bit and include some product placement. But some shows go the extra mile when hawking for their sponsors, directly weaving them into the storyline with all the grace and subtlety of a drunken hippopotamus.

#5. The Cast of Survivor Pretends to Enjoy an Adam Sandler Movie


Survivor is a reality show where a bunch of privileged First World folks get together and act like it's an accomplishment to be proud that they didn't die after two weeks without dental floss. For their 23rd season, Survivor: South Pacific, the producers struck a deal with, of all people, Adam Sandler. This sadly did not involve sticking Sandler alone on a desert island and starving him until he ate his own feces, but rather forcing the cast to watch his latest film, Jack and Jill. You know, the one where he dressed in drag and played his own sister, also known as the Murphy gambit.

David De Lossy/Digital Vision/Getty Images
"Thank God we can get away from this for a few hours and watch the guy who made Little Nicky."

The show's host, Jeff Probst, insultingly passed this off as a reward for the tribe that successfully completed the day's challenge, rather than as a general punishment for all of humanity. So the winning tribe went to the Survivor: South Pacific Cinema (how did they survive with only one cinema?!) and the contestants got to sit back and absorb some of Sandler's wacky hijinks.

The captive audience really seems to enjoy the funny voices and frequent pratfalls, judging by their raucous laughter. Like this guy ...

And yet his cup looks like it came from the neighborhood deli. Coke wouldn't bite, eh, CBS?

... who is laughing uncontrollably at the scene where Sandler's Jill character appears for the first time. This is especially notable since that scene had no jokes and wasn't meant to be funny. He's laughing at the setup to a joke -- that's like cracking up when somebody says "two men walk into a bar." Why, we're starting to think something on this Survivor show might have been staged!

Wait, does that mean they never really set fire to a mass grave?

#4. The Agents of Hawaii 5-0 Want You to Bing Like They Do


Hawaii 5-0 is a reboot of the original cop drama about police officers fighting tropical crime, because fuck it -- Jin was already in Hawaii when Lost wrapped, and the most delicious meal is the one in your belly. Jin -- sorry, Officer Kelly -- is attempting to impress detective Kona Kalakaua, and does so by showing her a Popsicle tower that looks like scrambled porn.

"So, are we having Popsicles later, or is this just a big tease?"

She hears that this thing is a "Clifton Bowles original" worth $25,000, but doesn't believe it, because a museum showcasing expensive and original artwork is just the stupidest idea imaginable. Kelly then begins Phase II of Operation: Flirt Horribly by telling her to "Bing it." Shockingly, she does so, even though that phrase sounds like a guaranteed sexual harassment case to us.

What museum is still open at half after 10?

She types in "cli" and, because this is TV, "Clifton Bowles" is the one and only suggested phrase. On the phone of a woman who's never heard of the guy until 10 seconds ago. Nice try; a real Bing search for "cli" reveals far more interesting search results -- especially with safe search off.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

"Ladies ..."

Kalakaua, inexplicably impressed by the ability of a man to read the little plaque that clearly lists the title and author of every piece in a museum, says to Kelly, "Who knew you were an art connoisseur?" Why, silly girl! He's not an art expert at all. He just Binged it ... on Bing, using his Bingers ... to type in the relevant Bingformation ...

#3. Everybody on Shark Tank Worships T-Mobile


You would think a show all about creative ways to make money would itself have a creative way to make money, but nope! Shark Tank puts riesling on the mahogany table the old-fashioned way: by slapping a T-Mobile device into everyone's hands and telling them to treat it like the black monolith from 2001.

Warner Bros.
"But don't look at it from this angle; it's terrible for your eyes."

To kick things off, a contestant announces that he has filmed several infomercials for his product and, because he just happens to have a T-Mobile phone, he can "just share it on that TV." He points the phone at the nearest TV, and the infomercial starts playing. Wow, that's almost like magic!


Magic whose main application appears to be pissing off everyone else in a sports bar.

Probably because it is. Sure, you can send videos from your phone to your TV, as long as the two are properly connected beforehand. But you can't use any old TV; it has to be a specially equipped one that can handle a T-Mobile hookup. Later on, when another contestant wants to transfer sales figures from his phone to one of the rich people's phones, he actually says, "Let me beam them to your T-Mobile device." Not "send them to you" or even "send them to your phone" -- he somehow tamps down the vomit rising in his throat and spurts out "beam them to your T-Mobile device."

"I- I said it ... please, just let my family go."

That guy stepped off camera and found that he no longer technically counted as a human being. Automatic doors no longer registered him; his breath didn't fog up glass anymore; his children kept forgetting his name, and he was doomed to wander the Earth as a formless wight, wailing about the superior coverage and peerless service of the T-Mobile company.

Another contestant takes a picture of Dallas Mavericks owner Marc Cuban. He then says he's going to "share it with the world," which Cuban asks him not to do because he hates publicity.

Sports Illustrated
After this, you should be over the whole photographic embarrassment thing, Mark.

The contestant denied Cuban's request, saying, "It's too late, baby, I got my T-Mobile superfast 4G, oh yeah!" Amazingly, he didn't spontaneously combust from the incredible amount of friction caused by his soul fleeing his body at supersonic speeds.

Paul A. Hebert/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

"... and I've got enough money under my couch cushions to order a hit. Delete the photo, peon."

Recommended For Your Pleasure

To turn on reply notifications, click here


The Cracked Podcast

Choosing to "Like" Cracked has no side effects, so what's the worst that could happen?

The Weekly Hit List

Sit back... Relax... We'll do all the work.
Get a weekly update on the best at Cracked. Subscribe now!